Strong autos lift factory output in August

By DANIEL WAGNER | September 15, 2011 | 9:20 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Strong auto production drove factory output higher for a second straight month in August. But manufacturing was otherwise weak last month, a troubling sign for the economy.

The Federal Reserve says factory output rose 0.5 percent in August, after increasing 0.6 percent in July. Autos and related products increased 2.6 percent, evidence that supply chain disruptions stemming from the Japan earthquake continued to ease.

Overall industrial production ticked up 0.2 percent. That was weaker than July's 0.9 percent increase.

Separately, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said manufacturing weakened in that region for a fourth straight month, partly because businesses received fewer new orders and paid higher prices.